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What Causes Flooding?

Sandbags Used to Prevent Flood Damage  Flooding is one of the most serious natural disasters all over the world. It is estimated by United States Federal agencies that 125 people die every year in flood conditions. While many people live in high risk areas, those who live in lower risk areas may also sustain damage from flood waters if the weather conditions are favorable for flooding.

Different Types of Floods

Rivers may flood when the water rises to high levels. The most common cause of river flooding is heavy rain or melting snow. Those living in coastal areas may also suffer damage from flooding when tropical storms or hurricanes cause high winds, which results in tidal surge.

In cold climates, flooding may be caused when snow begins to melt in the spring which is commonly referred to as spring thaw. Another common cause of springtime flooding, is ice jams. During the winter, large pieces of ice form on the surface of rivers, once the weather warms these pieces of ice begin to move and often become caught by tree limbs or rocks. When this happens, these pieces of ice form a dam which causes flooding upstream.

Summer storms can cause flash flooding, which can come on suddenly with little to no warning. When large amounts of rain fall within a short period of time, rivers reach their full capacity and quickly overflow resulting in rushing flood waters. Dams are placed in certain areas to keep water levels steady. If a dam becomes damaged from an earthquake or if a structural deformity is present, it can cause flooding. Dam failure causes large volumes of water to be released at once, sweeping everything in its path away and damaging homes.

Sandbags Used to Prevent Flood Damage

In order for this method to work, it must be done correctly. For best results, choose sandbags about 14 inches in width and 26 inches in length. Most emergency sandbags are made from woven polypropylene, which is a sturdy material. When filled, it is easiest to handle sandbags that weigh no more than 40 pounds each. Sandbags can be stacked to form a dike, which can prevent flood waters from entering residential areas. After the dike is formed, sheets of plastic placed at the dike bottom will help improve water tightness. In addition to using sandbags for flood protection, a sump pump can be helpful in removing any flood water that seeps through the dike.

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 13th, 2012 at 8:06 am and is filed under Flood Protection, NYP-Corp News, Sandbags.

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